Why is writing important to you and why do you think it's an important medium for the world?
I love keeping readers company on dark days and lonely nights. Books help people relax, and help readers like me get through tough times. While we're all cooped up right now, novels can be a wonderful escape, taking us to foreign lands, and on grand adventures. For instance, my new release, Solstice Shadows, has the VanOps team travelling to the dangerous souks of Morocco, fallen Turkish temples, and Egypt’s Valley of the Kings. Books also teach us empathy while we walk a mile in the shoes of the hero or heroine. While we're being entertained, we can also learn a few things about history or science. Humans are hardwired for stories. That's why writing is important to me and why I feel books remain a key medium for the world.
What are your tried and tested remedies to cure writer's block?
To cure writer's block, I take a shower, walk, or meditate. Sometimes even a nap works wonders. For a time, I did brain wave biofeedback with people who had studied the brain waves of mystics, master meditators, Zen monks and praying priests. They found a common brain wave pattern among them and called it The Awakened Mind. I use that knowledge to consciously get into my creative brain wave pattern and voila!
What is your favorite time to write?
I love to write outside on the porch swing in the cool summer mornings, or late at night on the couch by the fire in the winter. Editing is a different matter. I like to do that in front of my large screen in the afternoon with a snack.
What's the best piece of writing advice you've ever received and would like to impart to other writers?
Steve Berry told a group of us in a class once that "The meek inherit nothing." That's good advice across the board, but especially with writing. You need to put on thick skin and ask beta readers what they think of your work. Editors will try to hack your story to pieces, so you need to stay strong and fight for your twists and turns. You'll need to ask other authors for blurbs, and you need to market the heck out of your work. Be bold! And proceed as if success is inevitable.
What excites you most about being a writer in today's age?
Digital marketing is simply fantastic. Even as a traditionally published author, I'm expected to find my own readers. The ability to fine tune your marketing to get your message into the hands of the readers who are most likely to love your work, is amazing. For instance, my work is compared most frequently to James Rollins, Steve Berry, Clive Cussler, and Dan Brown. Using various digital marketing platforms, I'm building my readership by targeting those authors. It's exciting!
Avanti Centrae's Solstice Shadows is out now with Thunder Creek Press.